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Pioline ends Sampras dream

December 6, 2008

Returning hero Pete Sampras was denied a place in the Blackrock Masters final by Frenchman Cedric Pioline, who won 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Pioline will face Britain’s Greg Rusedski in the final on Sunday December 7.

Sampras, 37, quit tennis aged 31 and created a media frenzy on his first trip to England since Wimbledon 2002.

“This place brings back memories, just being here and seeing the British people,” said Sampras. “It was good to be back. When you drive around the streets here, I think about my titles. I think about my wins. But unfortunately I couldn’t win it here.

“It was a dogfight,” Sampras added.

“Cedric is returning better today than he did back then.”

It was a form of revenge for Pioline, who was beaten by Sampras in the 1993 US Open final and the 1997 Wimbledon final and agreed that his return helped him through.

“I always used to have problems returning his serve,” the 39-year-old admitted.

“Suddenly, I could now read his serve. I don’t know why.”

Source: Yahoo – Eurosports

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

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